Driving offences and the effect on insurance premiums

Driving Offences and Insurance

Do I have to inform my insurers if I receive penalty points or a driving ban?

Yes. An insurance contract is one of "utmost good faith". Your insurers rely upon you to keep them appraised on any changes in your situation during the course of the policy. If you fail to notify them of any developments they could refuse to honour the policy.

What if I don't tell my insurers about my penalty points?

The insurance company will probably refuse indemnity and cancel the policy without refund if they find out. Should a claim be made, you will probably have to reimburse the insurers for any payments they make.

What affect will penalty points have on my insurance premiums?

In most cases it will result in an increase in the premium, dependent upon the offence and the number of penalty points.

What affect will a driving disqualification have on my insurance?

As soon as your driving licence is suspended you will be in breach of your insurance conditions, namely that to use your vehicle you hold a valid licence. If you want to continue to insure your car for theft, other damage or fire loss, you should ask your insurers to alter your policy for the duration of the driving disqualification. Remember that if you want to keep the car on the road, you will need to have a minimum of third party cover and even if the car is kept off-road, it must still be insured unless you have made a SORN declaration.

For how long is a conviction of interest to my insurers?

Although penalty points are only valid for 3 years and can be removed from your licence after 4 years, insurers can set their own terms. Many will review your driving record over the last 5 years.

Anything else?

Yes. It is always worth checking the small print. Some policies provide for compensation if you are without a vehicle or will pay for alternative transport for the duration of the driving disqualification.

Will it be impossible to obtain insurance once I finish a driving ban?

No, whilst some insurance companies may refuse cover or load the premium, there will still be plenty of insurance companies that will be willing to offer cover.

Can I insure against the cost of Court proceedings or losing my driving licence?

Yes. Some road traffic policies will pay for representation for specific allegations. Alternatively, there are policies available to cover against the cost of lawyers fees but you should check that it covers everything and doesn't simply provide you with a discount. Likewise, you can insure against losing your licence and there are policies on the market that will provide a chauffeur, should you lose your licence.